“We can’t keep putting racist people back in office” says Henry

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NDP Candidate Jason Henry calls out Conservative Candidate Lianne Rood for 'insensitive' social media post.

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex NDP candidate comments after “insensitive” Conservative post shows candidate in front of a bar saying she had been talking to people on Walpole Island

The NDP candidate in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex says Canadians can’t keep “putting racists back in office.”

Jason Henry, who is the chief of the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, was responding to a social media post by the incumbent MP, Conservative Lianne Rood. The photo shows Rood and some campaign workers in front of the former Central Hotel in Pain Court near Mitchell’s Bay.

“Yesterday I had a great meeting on Walpole Island, discussing issues of importance to First Nations communities,” begins the post which goes on to say they also campaigned in Mitchell’s Bay, Pain Court and Mt. Brydges.

Followers on Facebook called out the problem.

“Why didn’t you post a photo of Walpole then instead of in front of a bar! So insensitive! I know I won’t be voting for you!” said Pam Plain.

A relative from Walpole alerted the candidate of the post. In a video posted to social media, Henry said “I’m not quite sure if it was a racist post or not (but it was)
certainly an insensitive post.

“It’s 2021 and if you don’t know that it’s inappropriate to take a picture and have a bar and say you’re talking to the Indians that’s shameful. And it disturbed me Got me upset. I felt like going live and just sort of calling that out and saying, ‘you know, we’re not drunks. We’re not alcoholics. It’s not okay to post things like that with a bar in the background and suddenly you’ve been talking to native people. That’s not okay. We are strong. We are proud,” says Henry.

He then tells his followers that while he has felt he’d much rather stay in his home community he realizes that’s not an option. “Sitting back and either letting things go by and voting for the same people that keep on doing this crap to us, that’s got me upset this morning. It’s got me a little bit shook and it’s got me motivated to make sure that I’m out here working hard.

Henry goes on to say that while the Liberal Candidate in the riding – Sudit Ranade -is a good guy “but he’s out there campaigning to put the man that did blackface back in office; the man that that kicked Jodie Wilson Raybould out of her position for standing up and doing what was right and that was an indigenous woman in power. He couldn’t stand that. That’s scary. That’s scary that we might put those kind of people back in power.

“Please don’t go back and vote for the same parties and the same people that have done this to us for ever…the future will be the same as the past, (they’ll) keep doing the same crap to us posting pictures of bars saying I’ve been talking to indigenous people.

“We can’t keep putting racist people back in office. .. I’m not here to fight. I’m here to make sure that we actually do reach reconciliation.”

The Independent contacted Rood’s campaign office by phone and via social media but so far has not received any comment from the candidate.